WTF?! Both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will only start charging around half the time if the cable is plugged in while the phone is on sleep. Some phones appear to be completely fine while a small portion will simply crash and become unresponsive if plugged on sleep, though most fall in the middle of the spectrum.

First brought to light by Unbox Therapy, the issue is now known to be widespread and is being scrutinized on forums all over the internet. Though this sounds like something that could easily be fixed via a software update, and it possibly will, the first group of frustrated owners have been received with lackluster support from Apple, told to either wait or ask for a replacement.

Thus far, six possible situations have arisen (in order of most to least common):

  1. The phone charges as normal.
  2. The phone will only start charging once the screen is turned on if the power cable is inserted while the phone is asleep.
  3. The phone starts charging once the screen is turned on if the power cable is inserted while the phone is asleep but will stop charging after a few minutes.
  4. The phone doesn't charge once the screen is turned on but will if the power cable is reinserted.
  5. The phone completely freezes up when the charging cable is inserted while the phone is asleep.
  6. The phone will not accept any charge from the charging cable until the screen is tapped, regardless of whether the phone's screen is on or not.

Any of those situations can occur to any iPhone XS, though each phone will tend to prefer one or two.

Both Unbox Therapy and users on Apple forums report extensive testing with all sorts of chargers: car chargers, various iPhone chargers, iPad chargers, third-party chargers... The issue occurs on all of them without discrimination.

As can be seen in the video above, of four iPhone XS Max, two worked fine, one would only start charging once the screen was turned on and one would crash when plugged in. Of his four iPhone XSs, two were fine and two would only start charging once the screen was turned on. He also showed that the issue is only connected to the XS series and not linked with iOS 12, and said that it doesn't occur when charging wirelessly.

"It's getting to the point where every other time I plug in the phone nothing happens," one frustrated user reported. Many forum users have called in the problem but were simply told to get a replacement. Everyone that did this found that the issue remained. After calling Apple support again, one user said that "it has escalated to engineering team. [They said we] have to wait for a few days to get a response."

This is probably a software issue that can be fixed with a firmware update, but unfortunately anyone calling Apple Support was told: "it sounds like a hardware issue." Apple hasn't commented on the matter, and one forum user even said that when they "spoke with a supervisor yesterday at Applecare they said to me that Apple is not going to do anything about it yet because they don't have enough complaints yet." If the issue does affect you, call Apple and make your voice heard.